Feeds

UK teen is world's youngest certified ethical hacker (maybe)

Born to tinker

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

For as long as he can remember, Shane Kelly has taken a keen interest in taking things apart. When he was 11 and his family took delivery of its first PC, he promptly pulled off the cover and disassembled it, much to the chagrin of his parents.

"They weren't too impressed at the time," Kelly, who is now 16, says. "But I put it back together. It worked."

A few months ago, the Solihull teenager successfully acquired an accreditation in Certified Ethical Hacking, making him possibly the youngest person to do so. While computers and networking have always captured his imagination, he says his interest in security prompted him to go for the hacking certification.

"That certainly stood out because it was the one qualification that focused not on the defensive side but it actually took you into the mind of the hacker," he says. "It was the mindset that gave me the motivation into taking the course."

Once upon a time, network security and penetration testing was a specialized field that was mainly inhabited by expensive outside consultants. Now that the net has become a core part of transacting business, more and more organizations are bringing these workers in-house.

"It's really come into its own as a legitimate area," says Terry Kurzynski, CEO of professional services firm Halock Security Labs, which also provides training for people seeking the credential. "We've been in security for 11 years and it really hasn't been until the last four or five years that ethical hacking has become a service."

It took Kelly about 10 months to complete the course work and pass the four-hour test required to get the accreditation. That included a five-day boot camp.

He recently landed a spot as a temporary worker at the Birmingham City University, where he expects to do IT-related work. He's considering acquiring additional accreditations for Cisco and Microsoft technologies.

But eventually, he says, he plans to do security work.

"Due to my age, it's probably not going to happen in the next five years," he says. "In the industry, you need to have a certain amount of experience. I hope to see myself doing security work of some some sort." ®

This story was updated to correct the name of the university where Kelly has landed a temp job.

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
NEW, SINISTER web tracking tech fingerprints your computer by making it draw
Have you been on YouPorn lately, perhaps? White House website?
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Black Hat anti-Tor talk smashed by lawyers' wrecking ball
Unmasking hidden users is too hot for Carnegie-Mellon
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
NUDE SNAPS AGENCY: NSA bods love 'showing off your saucy selfies'
Swapping other people's sexts is a fringe benefit, says Snowden
Own a Cisco modem or wireless gateway? It might be owned by someone else, too
Remote code exec in HTTP server hands kit to bad guys
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.